Daily Archives: July 22, 2010

Someday Before I Die I’d Like To Go To Burning Man…

From August 30 to Sept 6 this year, Burning Man will take place in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert where it has taken place since 1986. Once again, I won’t be there to be one of the participating artists in Black Rock City. I’d sure like to be there one year before I die.

The idea of spending a week living on the playa in a completely creative environment where performance, visual and all esoteric art forms meet really turns me on. Where every person is a participant and everyone creates for everyone else in Black Rock City, culminating with the burning of the Burning Man.

The event is called the largest “leave no trace” event in the world. It leaves no trace on the desert… no coals or refuse or footprints…totally cleaned out when the week ends. In among the thousands of participants are an entire “city” organization which accounts for sequencing, ticketing, cleanup…everything!

Burning Man is based on Ten Principles:

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

I think of all this now because the Current TV Channel has been showing videos of the last few years of Burning Man and I sit here fascinated. I don’t know what I’d do there, but it would have to be BIG.

Perhaps not as big as this one:

If any of you out there are going to Burning Man 2010, let me know what you will be doing there.

The Tea Party Bunch Wants to Follow the Founding Fathers


Thanks to http://www.atheistcartoons.com.

If anyone can make a statement supporting Shirley Sherrod and the horrible treatment she received from the Agriculture Dept, it’s Willie Nelson…

…and Willie, President of Farm Aid, released this article (I picked it up on HuffPo):

Shirley Sherrod has been a great friend to me, Farm Aid and family farmers for 25 years. She has always worked to improve economic opportunities for family farmers in the South, going back to when I first met her as the director of the Georgia Field Office for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund. Like Ms. Sherrod herself has said, she’s always tried to help those who don’t have so that they can have a little more.

The real story of Shirley Sherrod deserved to be told a long time ago. She has had an amazing impact on the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of families and communities throughout the South. Farmers of every race have struggled with the income inequities that have persisted for generations, and advocates like Ms. Sherrod have moved mountains to ensure that families can remain in their homes and on their farms.

While all family farmers in our country face an uphill battle to stay on their land, growing good food for rest of us, black farmers have lost their land at an alarming rate, faster than any other family farmers. Lending discrimination and inequities in agriculture programs are largely responsible for the shrinking number of black farmers. Farm Aid began supporting the Federation in 1985, where Shirley worked at the time, because of the group’s unique ability to reach out and help struggling farm families in the South. Many had owned their land for generations and were, and continue to be, under constant threat. We continue to support the Federation’s work to this day, and hundreds of farmers are still on their land because of Ms. Sherrod’s efforts.

During her time at the Federation, she fought to make sure that family farmers got what they needed to stay on their land. She has been a national leader for family farmers and a compassionate, courageous advocate for all struggling family farmers. Shirley Sherrod has dedicated her life to working on behalf of family farmers, civil rights and the alleviation of poverty and it’s up to Secretary Vilsack to right this wrong immediately.

This country desperately needs more farm advocates with Ms. Sherrod’s expertise. But this is not just about a job — it’s about ensuring that Shirley Sherrod has the opportunity to continue to support family farmers and the rural poor, something she has spent her life doing.

And if you want to see how much the media, Fox news, Breitbart, the White House, and everyone else was responsible for the Sherrod disaster, go over to Olbermann’s blistering editorial last night:
CLICK HERE (I apologize for the commercial MSNBC has to put in at the beginning.)